Covid-19: High power committee seeks time to file reply on classification of prisonersUpdated: Apr 08, 2020, 19:51 IST
The high-power committee constituted to decide on releasing under-trials and convicts on temporary bail has sought time to file its reply with regards to the objections raised by a petition filed by two inmates. The petition has claimed that while the Supreme Court order to decongest jails had mentioned only two clauses for releasing prisoners, the high power committee has introduced additional clauses that made it almost impossible for any of the inmates to be released thus negating the very purpose of the SC directions to safeguard inmates from the Covid 19 pandemic.
On Wednesday, the bench of justice R G Avachat at the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court while hearing the petition filed by two under trial prisoners who are booked under the Maharashtra Protection of Investors Depositors Act and kept at Harsul jail in Aurangabad informed the bench through advocate Pradnya Talekar that the high power committee had introduced an exception in the SC directions thus prejudicing their chance of getting interim bail.
Talekar informed the court that while the sanctioned capacity of the jail was 589 there were around 1828 inmates. As a result of this it was not possible to maintain social distancing among the prisoners thus putting their lives at risk and susceptible to any outbreak of the Covid-19 if it entered the jails.
Talekar further submitted that the conditions for bail by the SC only mentioned that those serving a sentence of seven or less years should be allowed interim bail to decongest the jails. However the high power committee had introduced exceptions wherein persons accused of financial frauds were not eligible for the bail even though the punishment for their crime was less than seven years.
Based on the submissions by Talekar the bench sought to know on what basis did the High Powered Committee make a separate classification of prisoners and placed the matter for further hearing on April 15.